Facebook Bans 'Russian Roulette' App

Dennis Faas's picture

Facebook has banned an application that allowed users take a one in six chance of destroying their account. However, critics say the social networking site hasn't established any clear rules about such apps.

The application has the eye-catching name "Social Roulette." Inspired by the deadly pistol game Russian Roulette, it involves the player spinning a virtual revolver cylinder with one of the six chambers loaded -- in this case, with a Facebook logo rather than a bullet.

App Deletes Facebook Account Info

The resulting death isn't physical but virtual: if the odds are not in your favor, the app will deactivate your Facebook account. (Source: socialroulette.net)

The app promises to remove as much of your data as possible before shutting down access.

It appears the tool was aimed at people who have considered leaving Facebook but couldn't quite bring themselves to make the decision.

Facebook responded by blocking the app just four hours after it went live. The firm has not commented on the specifics of the case, though the app makers received an automated message indicating that the app had "creat[ed] a negative user experience."

App Breaches Spirit (If Not Letter) of Facebook Rules

It's not entirely clear if the app broke any specific rules in Facebook's terms and conditions. However, it may have violated a general principle that says apps can't get round restrictions on "core Facebook features and functionality." (Source: techcrunch.com)

The controversy may prompt Facebook to revisit those terms and conditions to re-evaluate the powers users can give to application developers. While many apps have the power to post content to a user's account, deleting an account is another matter altogether.

Because the app was online for such a short period, it's not yet clear if any users actually used it to delete their Facebook accounts.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet